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Sharing Our Faith Together

Access All Areas -2nd Sunday in Advent

by Sue Muessig 6 December 2020

​Lighting the second Advent candle

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Hymn : Long ago prophets knew

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This year in our monthly Access All Areas services, we started to look at the theme of Promises, we began in February with the words:

Throughout the Bible, God offers lifelines in the form of promises to help us with whatever life has in store. He promises to love us, to forgive us, to protect us, to redeem us, to make us whole and to always be with us.

Obviously, we had no idea what was going to happen next and how we would all need to hold onto God’s word and promises throughout the lockdowns and isolations of a Covid year. In our plans, today’s service was entitled “The Promise of a Child”, with a message on the promise of future hope, spoken by the Prophet Isaiah, many years ago and a promise that still gives us hope today.

Our reading today is Isaiah 9:2-7 you could read it or watch it in the video:

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Message

Isaiah’s role as a prophet was to speak for God, sharing God’s commands and promises with the people. Judah was going through a time of revival and of rebellion. They were threatened with destruction by Assyria and Egypt but were spared because of God’s mercy. Isaiah’s message was one of repentance from sin and hopeful expectation of God’s deliverance in the future. It was a time of darkness but God promised to send a light.

I would like to take a few moments to think about the different names Isaiah used to describe Jesus, the Promised Child who would come to rescue us. I wonder what difference it would

make to us in the coming week if we were to remember that the Promised Child who Isaiah describes in all these ways is with us now.

Wonderful Counsellor
A counsellor listens, provides a safe place to express your feelings and helps you to find ways to deal with whatever you are finding difficult. In Jesus we have a Wonderful Counsellor. He is always there for us, always listens to us and when we pray, we can get wisdom and advice from our loving Father, trusting that He knows what is best for us.

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

If you need wise advice or have difficult problems to solve this week, remember that the Wonderful Counsellor is with you.

Mighty God
The baby born in the manger would grow up to be extremely powerful and strong. We see Jesus’ power in His ministry in amazing miracles and healings. He is the Rescuer, the one who came to give His life in order to save us all.

Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is with you;
the mighty One will save you.
He will rejoice over you.
You will rest in His love;
He will sing and be joyful about you.”

Jesus has the same power today, if you are facing something that you find hard to do this week remember that our Mighty God is with you.

Everlasting Father
Jesus, the mighty and all powerful one also came to bring us into an intimate, loving relationship. He cares for each one of us personally and wants us to spend time with Him getting to know Him more and more.

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

As part of the Godhead, Jesus has always existed, He is eternal. God sent Him as a baby, becoming one of us so that He could rescue us. He faced human challenges and emotions and so we know that He understands when we bring our prayers to Him.

If you feel lonely or afraid this week, remember that our loving, caring Eternal Father is with you.

Prince of Peace
Isaiah’s people were living in a time of trouble and darkness and needed to hold onto the promise that the Prince of Peace would one day come and bring unity and justice to the nations. He also came to restore our relationship with God through His death on the cross.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:1-2

When we are facing difficult circumstances, we can pray for God’s peace which comes from the powerful love of God and surpasses all understanding.

If you feel stressed or unsettled this week, remember the Prince of Peace is with you.

We know that this message of hope which Isaiah gave, was fulfilled in the birth of Christ and we can still hold on to that promise today. One day He will return to create a new heaven and a new earth. He will bring peace and justice, and ultimately rid the world of poverty, injustice, violence, war, disease, and death.

Our Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace and Wonderful Counsellor is with us today and always.

Song – His name is wonderful

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Let us pray

God of hope and promise, be with us throughout this Advent season and draw us ever closer as we journey together toward the stable and the birth of your Son, our Saviour.

In our preparations for what may be a different Christmas for many of us, help us to keep our eyes fixed upon You.

We continue to pray for our government at this challenging time and for Your guidance as the new vaccine is introduced. We pray for Your blessing and strength to be upon everybody working so hard in the NHS.

We pray for anyone who we know who is sick at this time and ask for Your peace and healing for them.

We pray for ourselves, in our own struggles; help us to hold onto Your promises. We pray that Christ’s light in us would shine bright and flow into our neighbourhoods and community. Amen

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be Thy Name,

Thy kingdom come,

Thy will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those

who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom,

and the power, and the glory,

for ever and ever. Amen


Song – Like a candle flame

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Blessing

God of hope, who brought love into this world,

be the love that dwells between us.

God of hope, who brought peace into this world,

be the peace that dwells between us.

God of hope, who brought joy into this world,

be the joy that dwells between us.

God of hope, the rock we stand upon,

be the centre, the focus of our lives

always, and particularly this Advent time. Amen